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Frequently Asked Questions


1. What type of degree will students earn?
2. What is the difference between a professional art college and an art program within a liberal arts college or a state university?
3. What are your majors?
4. How many students attend?
5. Where is your school located?
6. Since you don’t have dormitories, where do students live?
7. I’m concerned with safety. Is Lancaster considered a safe city?
8. How will I receive medical attention if needed?
9. What does a student need to submit to complete the admissions process?
10. What if my cumulative GPA is below a 2.5?
11. Do you require SAT or ACT scores?
12. Do you require a portfolio?
13. What should be in a portfolio?
14. What is the deadline for admission?
15. What is your Foundation class acceptance rate?
16. I have special needs. What does PCA&D offer to help me?
17. I am a transfer student. When will I know what courses will transfer in?
18. If I attend PCA&D and decide it’s not for me, will my credits transfer?
19. How much is tuition?
20. How can I finance my college education?
21. What scholarships are available for incoming students?
22. Will I be able to find work or participate in work study to help with expenses?
23. What types of extracurricular activities are available?
24. Is there parking available for students?
25. Is there a computer requirement at PCA&D?
26. How many full-time, part-time and adjunct instructors does PCA&D have?
27. Do students have an opportunity to do an internship?
28. Will I be prepared for the workforce?
29. What is your placement rate?
30. What is your graduation rate?
31. What types of work are your alumni doing?

32. I'm in high school, what type of classes should I be taking?


Q: What type of degree will students earn?
A: Pennsylvania College of Art & Design is a professional art college that offers a 4-year Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree.

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Q: What is the difference between a professional art college and an art program within a liberal arts college or a state university?
A:
The curriculum. As a professional art college, 65% of the classes at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design take place in the studio, and students are taught by professional artists and designers, who actually do what they teach. The remaining 35% of the courses are in liberal arts and are specifically designed to complement the studio curriculum, and prepare students with a breadth of knowledge that will help tremendously in their professional lives. It is important to also note that PCA&D is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), and has Middle States Accreditation.

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Q: What are your majors?
A:
Students can major in Digital Media, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Illustration or Photography. Those interested in animation/gaming are urged to major in Illustration and take a series of courses that will result in the student graduating with an animation/gaming portfolio. Through our Continuing Education Department, we also offer certificate programs in Digital Design Series: Web; Digital Design Series: Print; Social Media Marketing & Comunications; and Digital Photography.

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Q: How many students attend?
A:
PCA&D offers an intimate environment with approximately 275 students in its BFA programs. Unlike larger institutions, we enroll only a limited number of students to maintain a close-knit creative community, providing students with smaller classes and more individualized instruction. Our student to teacher ratio is 9 : 1.

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Q: Where is your school located?
A:
Pennsylvania College of Art & Design is located in the heart of historic downtown Lancaster, Pa., and is within walking distance of many arts and cultural sites. Lancaster is a small, inland city with a population of 60,000 – big enough to support many cultural activities, yet small enough to be friendly and accessible to newcomers. The downtown area offers banks, a post office, grocery stores, a self-serve laundry and other services, and Lancaster’s bus system, Red Rose Transit Authority (RRTA), makes it easy for those who don’t have cars to get to malls, outlet centers, and movie theaters. In addition, Lancaster’s Amtrak train station offers passenger service to nearby major metropolitan areas, such as Philadelphia, Baltimore and New York City. The Lancaster Airport and Harrisburg International Airport are also easily accessible for air travelers.

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Q: Since you don’t have dormitories, where do students live?
A:
Approximately 65% of the college’s students are non-commuters and require housing in the area. While the college does not own dormitory-style housing, it does offer a housing referral program, providing housing and roommate listings to foundation, transfer, and returning students for their convenience. The college’s Director of Student Life and Housing collects data on available housing in the area and prepares periodic housing lists. The college also provides services to help students find compatible roommates, with listings, questionnaires and “meet and greet” receptions. Typically, our students travel 5 blocks or less from their apartment to the college. In addition, all necessary services, such as banking, pharmacies, grocery markets, laundry, etc., are also within walking distance. The housing referral program has been very successful in meeting the needs of the college’s students and their families. The average cost for a two-bedroom apartment is $600 to $775 a month.

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Q: I'm concerned with safety. Is Lancaster considered a safe city?
A:
Named an All-American City in 2002, and ranked the 18th safest city among 344 U.S. metropolitan areas in 2006, Lancaster is a safe city. However, students are urged to use basic caution and common sense, just as they would in any other urban environment. Pennsylvania College of Art & Design has evening security to monitor our facilities while students use studio space, and we are an active member of the Downtown Investment District (DID) and the Lancaster City Alliance, which employs additional police coverage in our area in the evening hours. In addition, the city’s police headquarters is located across the street from the college. We also offer a “Ride Home Program” for our BFA students living in Lancaster city limits. This service is available for students who are working after class hours and would feel more comfortable taking a cab home instead of walking. This service is free and only requires students to show their student IDs.

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Q: How will I receive medical attention if needed?
A:
Students are provided with all emergency numbers during orientation, including three local medical groups that accept new patients, one of which will treat patients without medical insurance. In addition, downtown Lancaster is home to two hospitals on opposite ends of town that are available to treat students in the event of an emergency on or off school property. The dean of students works closely with students who have questions about or need medical attention.

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Q: What does a student need to submit to complete the admissions process?
A:
Students need to submit an application, $40 application fee, personal statement, high school transcript, and portfolio, and must also complete an interview. Students with a cumulative GPA below 2.5 are required to have two recommendation forms sent by teachers on their behalf. Any applicant who has attended a college level course must submit their college transcripts from each institution attended. Students who have been out of school for more than 6 months must additionally submit a resume. Applicants who do not have a high school diploma must submit an official GED transcript as well as high school transcripts. While SAT and ACT scores are not required, students are encouraged to submit them. See our admissions requirements for more information.

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Q: What if my cumulative GPA is below a 2.5?
A:
You will be required to have two recommendation forms sent on your behalf. One must be from an academic teacher or guidance counselor, and the other can be from a studio teacher. These recommendation forms give PCA&D insight into a student’s character, work ethic and strengths. The forms can be printed or downloaded off of the admission page of our website.

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Q: Do you require SAT or ACT scores?
A:
No. While we do not require SAT or ACT scores, we do strongly encourage students to submit them for admission. PCA&D's College Board code is 2681. PCA&D's ACT College code is 3569.

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Q: Do you require a portfolio?
A:
Our admissions process requires all students applying for the BFA degree program to present a portfolio of artwork.

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Q: What should be in a portfolio?
A:
A portfolio is a body of work that shows a student’s most recent and best pieces of art. Portfolios should contain 10-15 pieces, using a variety of media, techniques, and styles. Every portfolio, regardless of major, must include at least 3 drawings from life. To assist interested students with information on building their portfolio, the college offers pre-college courses and workshops.

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Q: What is the deadline for admission?
A:
Our rolling admissions process allows us to review applications year-round. We encourage all applicants to apply early because spaces in the BFA program are limited. Spring applicants must complete their admissions process by December 1 and international students should apply no later than one year prior to the year they wish to start.

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Q: What is your foundation class acceptance rate? 
A:
52%

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Q: I have special needs. What does PCA&D offer to help me?
A:
In the case of a student with a special need, whether physical or learning, families are required to request testing of this need by a qualified testing source. Based on the results, PCA&D will try to honor all recommendations made by the test following ADA laws.

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Q: I am a transfer student. When will I know what courses will transfer in?
A:
Transfer students must enroll at PCA&D before receiving a final credit evaluation from our dean of students. The college only accepts up to 60 transfer credits, and grades must be a “C” or better.

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Q: If I attend PCA&D and decide it’s not for me, will my credits transfer?
A:
Students considering transfer to another college should not assume that credits earned at PCA&D will automatically be accepted in transfer elsewhere. Individually determined college or university policies, course content, and final course grades all play important parts in the transfer of credits. Students should contact the admissions office of the receiving institution to determine if any PCA&D credits will be eligible for transfer.

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Q: How much is tuition?
A:
$19,700 for a full-time student (12-18 credits/semester) for the 2013-2014 academic year. Part-time students pay $821 per credit. Pennsylvania College of Art & Design’s tuition is considerably less expensive than other professional art colleges. In addition, it is located within a city with a considerably lower cost of living than its big-city counterparts. This means you will receive a quality education without breaking the bank.

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Q: How can I finance my college education?
A:
Each and every student should apply for financial aid – and do it early! (January/February is preferable.) A student can apply for aid before being accepted to a college. Many families mistakenly believe that a student must be accepted first. In fact, students may list as many as ten colleges on their financial aid application. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can be picked up at any high school guidance office, or can be completed online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. If completed online, you will need to obtain a pin number, which you can obtain by going to www.pin.ed.gov. When filing the FAFSA, be sure to enter Pennsylvania College of Art & Design under the college choice section; our school code is 016021. Nearly everyone who applies will qualify for a student loan, which has a much lower interest rate than standard loans. Our financial aid office is always available to lend a hand with financial aid forms and tuition planning, and will work with you to find any aid that would be accessible to you. Our bursar's office will also work with you in arranging manageable payment plans that break tuition into three-month or five-month payments per semester. You can reach the financial aid office by clicking here to email.

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Q: What scholarships are available for incoming students?
A:
PCA&D has several scholarship opportunities for incoming students:
•    Institutional Scholarships
Foundation scholarships are awarded to incoming full-time students on the basis of academic excellence and demonstrated talent. They are renewable as long as the student maintains a 2.5 GPA and a minimum of 12 credits per semester. Students recommended for the scholarship must be enrolled by April 1st to be considered.

•    Futures’ First Scholarships
PCA&D offers a number of scholarships that have been donated by friends of the college to help to support promising artists. These scholarships are awarded based on need. Scholarship amounts are fixed and automatically renewed as long as the student maintains academic progress and the individual or business continues to participate. Contact the admissions office for additional information about these scholarships or refer to our current academic catalog for other scholarship opportunities. Students interested in scholarships are encouraged to complete their admissions file and Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March.

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Q: Will I be able to find work or participate in work study to help with expenses?
A:
There is no denying that art college students keep tremendously demanding schedules, but a good number of students do work part-time at local retailers, restaurants, coffee shops, bookstores, movie theaters, and other businesses. There are also a limited number of on-campus jobs for which eligible students may apply.

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Q: What types of extracurricular activities are available?
A:
The office of student services works closely with students to present programs that are enriching and fun. PCA&D has an active Student Council and several other clubs that meet on a regular basis.

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Q: Is there parking available for students?
A:
Yes. Parking plans are available through the Water Street Parking Garage, located directly behind the college. The estimated cost for the year is $440, which is billed along with tuition for those students who wish to participate in this program. Contact our bursar's office for more information.

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Q: Is there a computer requirement at PCA&D?
A:
Yes. All students are required to purchase a Mac laptop as well as a digital camera prior to starting classes. Specific requirements may be found here: Laptop & Camera Requirements. Questions about requirements should be directed to our information technology department.

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Q: How many full-time, part-time and adjunct instructors does PCA&D have?
A:
We have 13 full-time, 6 part-time and 32 adjunct instructors.

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Q: Do students have an opportunity to do an internship?
A:
Yes. Fine Art, Graphic Design, Illustration and Photography majors are required to complete an internship.

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Q: Will I be prepared for the workforce?        
A:
Yes. In addition to the required internship, students are exposed to client-based coursework, competitions, guest artist lectures, field trips, and creating, hanging and promoting a body of work for their senior show. In their senior year, all students must take a professional practices course. While the material covered in these classes varies depending on major, the purpose is to provide students with the information needed to transition from art student to professional artist/designer. Examples of areas covered include business ethics, copyright laws, taxes, billing, pricing, contracts, self-promotion, resume building, grant writing, and other “nuts and bolts” information important to the working artist’s life.
 
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Q: What is your placement rate?
A:
97% of students in the class of 2012 who responded to a placement survey were employed or pursuing an advanced education within a year of graduation.

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Q: What is your graduation rate?
A:
The graduation rate for the class of 2008 is 56%.

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Q: What types of work are your alumni doing?
A:
PCA&D is proud of its alumni and the innovative work they are doing in their respective fields. The education, experience and competitive edge they receive at PCA&D serves them well in their careers as artists and designers. PCA&D alumni include thriving fine artists, who exhibit and teach, and designers and illustrators for such companies as Disney, HBO, Marvel Comics, Time, Inc., and Teen People. All are making their mark in the art and design industries.

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Q: I'm in high school, what type of classes should I be taking?
A:
High school students interested in attending PCA&D should be enrolled in a college preparatory curriculum. We do not have a foreign language requirement. Taking visual art studio classes while in high school is also important. If your high school does not offer art courses, consider seeking instruction at a local art association or museum. PCA&D offers pre-college classes specifically designed for high school students looking to enhance their studio experiences. 

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Your Place to Prepare for a Life in Art and Design

204 North Prince Street | P.O. Box 59 | Lancaster, PA 17608-0059 | (717) 396-7833

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